tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN November 18, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PST
this is cnn breaking news. >> breaking news, president-elect tonight making a key job offer. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. trump choosing retired army lieutenant general michael flynn to be his national security adviser. he will sit down with mitt romney, the 2012 gop nominee who had harsh words for trump during his campaign for the white house. he is telling cnn he is interested in becoming secretary of state. to discuss this hour, bring in cnn political reporter sarah murray to start us off. donald trump just filled another key post in his administration. what are you learning? >> not sure if it is entirely sealed yet, but we know donald
trump has made the offer to general michael flynn asking him if he wants to be his national security adviser. source isn't telling us whether flynn has accepted. it would be a natural fit. he sat with donald trump through his national security briefings and has been right there with him throughout the transition process. he was seen as the lead candidate for the job, so it would be difficult to see him turning it down, don. >> we also know that donald trump and mitt romney, sarah, will be meeting this weekend. are we seeing signs trump is looking to form a team of rivals here? >> add this to the list of strange bed fellows, right? because few people were as vocal and as barbed in their criticism of donald trump as mitt romney was. take a listen to how he talked about trump in the past. >> here is what i know. donald trump is a phoney, a fraud. >> here is a disloyal guy. see, he is an elitist. >> his promises are as worthless as a degree from trump university. >> the guy's a stone cold loser.
so in many ways not a lot of love lost between the two of them, but it looks as if they're going to try to patch things up. they will be meeting on saturday, and we expect them to discuss a secretary of state position. that does not necessarily mean that mitt romney is one of the frontrunners. it does not mean that he is the pick in the eyes of donald trump, but it certainly would be an interesting discussion to be a fly on that wall, don. >> sarah, is this the new trump, past offenses are forgiven? we've often heard he has a very long memory. what about the rest of the state of the transition team? >> well, not just that he has a long memory but that he likes to reward people who are loyal to him. i think that is the question, is donald trump doing all of these meetings just because he now is the president-elect and so he can essentially hold court with whoever he beckons to trump tower and maybe learn a little bit along the way, or is he doing these meetings because he is seriously considering these people for top-level cabinet positions? now, the flynn choice would indicate he is sticking with someone safe, someone he knows
very well, someone who is loyal when it comes to his national security adviser. but i think it is an open question still, will donald trump actually pick someone who has been a critic, an adversary in the past to fill one of these top cabinet slots? if he does, that could send a signal to democrats and republicans alike this is a guy who wants to beef up the knowledge around him and a guy who wants someone who will be there to point out his weaknesses or to bring knowledge to the table that maybe donald trump doesn't have himself. >> sarah, thank you very much. appreciate that. who is the man donald trump wants to be his national security adviser? here is cnn's pentagon correspondent barbara starr. >> this was not an election, this was a revolution. this is retired lieutenant general mike flynn, a one-time army intelligence officer whose loyalty to donald trump likely will catapult him to one of the most important jobs in the trump presidency. >> this is probably the biggest election in our nation's history since bringing on george
washington when he decided not to be a king. >> flynn is controversial in military circles after several jobs dealing with middle east terrorism. in 2014 he was pushed out as head of the pentagon's defense intelligence agency. one official who served with flynn at the time tells cnn there were ongoing tensions. flynn wanted more authority. >> wow. >> after forced retirement, flynn appeared to change. two senior military officers who served with him tell cnn. they describe his somewhat bitter officer who adamantly believes president obama isn't paying enough attention to the isis threat? we must regain our ability to truly crush our enemies. >> the question now, can he operate on a global scale? >> he's going to have to expand his skill set after a 30-plus year career of dealing primarily
in the military element of national security. >> flynn will have to work well with the rest of the trump team. >> there's a whole lot of pieces of input that come into decision making rather than just the one you're providing. >> but ultimately the new commander-in-chief will still set the tone in national security. but just what is trump still trying to tell the pentagon? >> we have great generals. >> you said you knew more than the generals about isis. >> i'll be honest with you, i probably do because look at the job they've done. okay, look at the job they've done. they haven't done the job. i want to bring in cnn military analyst lieutenant general mark hurt ling and lieutenant general mark francona. general hurtling first, give me your reaction to donald trump offering flynn the national security adviser job. >> it can't be taken in isolation, don. it is an interesting pick.
mike flynn is a very passionate, en energetic and devoted guy to mr. trump, but the better thing to look at is what is the rest of the national security team going to look like. who is going to be the secdef, cabinet members, they will play a role in determining america's national security not just in the military segment and against isis but against a lot of other people. i'm sorry? >> who would have the most influence? >> flynn sets the agendas for the committees and the nfc's. he tees up the discussion for the president. that's the thing. he probably will be the youngest guy in the room. he may have a lot of experience fighting al qaeda and even tracking isis, but he's not going to have a whole lot of experience in some of the other areas that contribute to national security. you know, isis is about fifth on a list of ten things that are influencing america's security
right now, and he's got to expand his portfolio quite a bit. >> general francona, you have a different view of general flynn. tell me what you think. >> i think he is probably a fine pick as long as the president trusts him. i think that's the key here. i think that general hurtling hit the nail on the head here. it is because hurtling is not going to have the authority to do anything. hurtling is going to be the gate keeper. he sets the agenda, he calls the meetings, he chairs the meetings, he decides -- >> flynn, not hurtling. >> i'm sorry. >> i almost did it earlier. i understand since hurtling is right here with us. >> and he will control those meetings. but it is a team effort, and it is who else is on that team. so i think it is important that the president have confidence in general flynn. this position isn't a cabinet level. this is the person you go to, this is your confidante, someone you can talk to one-on-one and sometimes cut through all of the bureaucrat, you know, wrangling
that will go on in that room. i have been in some of these meetings, and it is very contentious in there, and the national security adviser has to ride heard on the people that generally have more power than he does. >> okay. general? >> that's true, don. i will tell you i've been in a couple of them myself. what is interesting is at the strategic level when you are talking leadership, personalities matter. when you've got a group think going on, that's not a good thing. you're also going to have probably mike flynn will probably be the youngest person in the room. i don't know, i don't know who the other choices are going to be, but, you know, there have been studying national security advisers in the past, each president has used them differently. mr. trump may have his own style, but speaking truth to power in that kind of a scenario with a lot of folks with big egos and a lot of agendas, especially when you're talking about some people that may not trust each other all that well, that's going to be very challenging. >> general hurtling, what will
russia and ukraine think about general flynn in this top position? >> that's a great question, don, because i'm going to ukraine at the end of the month to talk to some security officials and government officials, and i have been contacting by many of them saying what is going on, and they were surprised first of all by mr. trump's election. they are particularly concerned about a combination of mr. trump and general flynn because they have seen the cozying up with russia and ukraine is in a fit for its life as are some other european allies, poll land, some of the ballotans. they're concerned about russia. they want to stop russian expansionism. i tell you like many other presidents, i'm sure mr. trump wants to reset the conditions with russia, but you have to go about this very carefully. when he talked to russia the other day, when he talked to mr. putin on the phone the other day, the reaction after that conversation in syria was multiple bombings of aleppo, and
a greater intensity by the russian government against that nation. >> colonel frank ccona, he is n shy about using islamic terrorism. he tweeted this once, the fear of muslims is rational. he tweeted something about jews he later apologized for. what do you think this pick would mean for u.s. relationships with the muslim world? >> well, i think that we've got a problem right from the start. you know, it just exacerbates the problem many people perceive mr. trump has with the islamic world and maybe the muslims have with mr. trump. so it is not going to help that. but, remember, as i said, he's going to be an adviser to the president. the president sets the agenda. the president sets the tone. the president makes the decisions. it is the advice he gets from his cabinet and also from general flynn that will shape
that. but i think they all need to turn in their twitter handles. >> thank you, colonel. thank you, general. i appreciate that. straight ahead, much, much more on our breaking news. president-elect trump offers a position of national security adviser to lieutenant general michael flynn. ♪ who says i shouldn't have a soda every day? my doctor. my dentist. definitely my wife. hey wait. we have better bubbles. make sparkling water at home and drink 43% more water every day. sodastream. love your water.
christina. he tweeted, just got a call from bill ford, chairman of ford, who advised he will be keeping the lincoln plant in kentucky, no mexico. second tweet, i worked hard with bill ford to keep the lincoln plant in kentucky. i owed it to the great state of kentucky for their confidence in me. what is the story, christina? >> i'm not sure what hard work he's referring to and i'm not sure ford knows what hard work he's referring to because he seems -- trump seems to be taking a victory lap for something he didn't do. ford made a commitment to keep that plant in kentucky way before this statement this evening. in fact, it was a legally binding agreement with the auto union there to keep production of the lincoln mkc -- mkc there along with the ford escape, and that they were going to invest
$700 million in the plant. so it is really unclear why he is taking credit for this. remember, trump went after several companies during the campaign, and ford was probably the brick corporate piñata. he called this company disgusting and he just went after them on twitter at rallies. it was just incredible. by the way, a lot of other companies do what ford does in terms of moving production, but, you know, trump went after ford specifically because it is a big american recognizable brand. >> i remember the ceo being on i think with poppy harlow saying they were going to keep the plant. listen, christina, what is ford saying about all of this? >> they're issuing a pretty, you know, corporate statement. they're saying that today confirm with the president-elect our small lincoln utility vehicle made at the louisville assembly plant will stay in kentucky, and we're encouraged
president-elect trump and new congress will pursue policies to make will possible to keep production of this vehicle here in the nalts. they're not going out and saying, this is ridiculous, right, because when i speak to ceos in general no one wants to get on trump's bad side at this point. everybody is playing nice because they don't know how, you know, all of this is going to shake out, all of his policies are going to shake out and impact their businesses. so everybody is playing nice for now. we'll have to see if trump continues to go after companies and then take credit for things that he didn't do, you know, how the dynamic changes from there. but clearly not a statement that really tells anybody what is really going on here. >> all right. so, christina, just to get it straight, as you mentioned, he is taking credit -- this isn't the first time he is taking credit for something he didn't do, correct? >> right. in 2015 he told a large
crowd in new hampshire ford is going to build a massive plant in the united states and that's because, you know, trump was going after the company publicly and he took credit for that. but ford was not building a new plant there. in fact, they were -- it was just simply shifting production to an existing u.s. plant, and that agreement had been arranged four years earlier in a deal, again, with the labor union, you know, in 2011. so we are seeing a pattern here, and it is up to the companies and it is up to the ceos to set the record straight and, frankly, it is up to us, too, to do that whenever we can. >> and we will. thank you very much, christina. i appreciate that. i want to bring in my political commentators, john fill limbs, a top radio host at kabc, bakari sellers, lonnie chin, and gop political commentator paris
denard. good evening, gentlemen. what is your reaction to christina's reporting? first, bakari. >> i think this builds into a larger narrative, and the larger narrative is donald trump is himself a fake news story. what we've seen is this -- it is this cycle of fake news stories that pop up and drive the narrative. donald trump will flatout lie and say that he did something which we can actually have objectionable proof that he did not do. and, i mean, it is categorically false. even ben sas today was talking about protesters being paid when we know it is another fake news story. >> but he is president-elect. >> that is real, but it is sad because what has developed is very dangerous to the american democracy, is now we live in a fact-free environment. the only person that can succeed in that fact-free environment is donald trump. >> paris? >> actually, the facts are mr. trump was outspoken in talking about how he was going to make america great again.
>> and about jobs and the economy. this is a win for president-elect trump. >> you're say tinge truth doesn't matter because he is taking a victory lap, paris, for something he didn't do, and you're sitting here on international television and telling people the truth doesn't matter? >> no, i didn't say that. what i'm telling the american people and the international audience is that what mr. trump did do was raise awareness about companies in the u.s. leaving our soil and go overseas and saying he did not want that to happen. >> that's not what he tweeted, paris. listen, let's be honest. >> right. >> come on, he won, congratulations. >> right. >> he did not say in his tweet, i brought awareness to this issue, and so you know ford is not doing it as i said before i became president. he is taking a victory lap for something that had nothing to do with him. that doesn't matter to you? the truth shouldn't matter to the american public who he is representing now? >> i think the truth does matter, and the truth in my eyes and i think in a lot of american's eyes is that donald
trump was a champion and is a champion for american jobs. he is a champion for american companies. >> okay. >> i think that proves it. >> let's let john get in. john, go ahead. >> yeah, the tone was set in this campaign donald trump doesn't want to incentivize companies to move operations to foreign lands, he wants more production in the united states. really the first indicator we saw after he was elected president that other people get that was when we heard from the canadians and mexicans they're willing to come to the bargaining table to rework nafta, to make sure nafta works out better for all parties involved. i think people get what donald trump wants from trade and production? >> lonnie. >> i think there are two issues here. one is i think as president-elect you do have to hold yourself to a higher standard. you do have to look carefully at what it is you're saying. but the other point i'd make is i think there are a lot of times when politicians and presidents even take credit for things that really they have very little to do with. you think about jobs numbers, perfect example, right?
we get these jobs numbers every month and presidents will consistently say or laude good job numbers or try to distance themselves from bad job numbers, but the reality is the president has little to do with the monthly gyrations in monthly job numbers. this was a step too far, but i think in general politicians have a habit of taking credit for things they have nothing to do with. >> don, if i may briefly, one of the things that is troublesome about the whole dynamic of president-elect trump is that you have paris say it doesn't matter. now we're saying maybe it was a step too far. but what we've created over the past 18 months and something we will have the deal with over the next four years is a culture of low expectation. the fact is donald trump told a lie. he had to be corrected by the ceo of ford. ford was not leaving. they were not leaving the united states going to mexico. in fact, what was happening is they had a contract with the union that said they could not leave, something that had nothing to do with donald trump
at all, and they were never going to mexico. now people pick up on this story. it is a fake news story that goes around, and it is below the office of the presidency. i mean if he can't tell the truth in a tweet about ford, i mean how will we believe him about anything else? >> up next we will talk about his new appointment as national security adviser, general nin. we will be right back. "credit karma, why are you checking your credit score?" "you don't want to ride the 13l forever, do you?"
l ♪ our breaking news tonight, president-elect trump offering position of national security adviser to general michael flynn. back with my john fill lens, bakari sellers, lanhee chen and paris denard. a false story about hillary clinton. he reported, you decide, nypd blows whistle on new e-mails, sex crimes with children, must read. this story is fabricated and it was tweeted out to tens of thousands of followers. what does it say about his judgment? >> i don't think that we should judge someone by 140 characters, but what i will say is he said you decide. he didn't say this was factual
or this is what you should say. he said you decide, you make up your mind for it yourself. i think mr. trump is picking people who have been loyal to him, people who have been giving him sound advice. i think this person in particular, general flynn, is one who has an accomplished career in the military, who should be respected if he takes the position. we should allow him the space to do the job that president-elect trump has asked him to do. >> lanhee? >> yeah, i mean usually it is the case that the top campaign national security adviser ends up becoming the national security adviser in the white house as well. this is ultimately as you saw in your earlier segment about comfort. i do think that hopefully should he accept the job from this point forward he would exercise the same discretion i would advise that the president-elect exercise as well. whether it is in twitter or other public statements. >> you want to say something, bakari? >> well, yeah. i mean i think that i guess we're nine or ten days into the trump president-elect status
here, and we shouldn't be surprised that he surrounds himself with people who espouse beliefs like him. whether or not it is steve bannon or whether or not it is general flynn. there are a lot of things that are concerning about him, whether or not he was receiving national intelligence briefings and still on the payroll for turkey, whether or not his son who is his chief of staff tweets out things that are racially insensitive to give him the benefit of the doubt. >> let's talk about that. >> or whether or not his judgment is cloudy. >> bakari, he also surrounds himself with people like cole james, ken blackwell, who are conservative christian, who are positive and influential. it is fair to say he just surrounds himself with people around people you just described. he has a lot of people, good people, that are advising him in this transition that should be respected. >> with all due respect, he's hired three people. he's hired reince priebus. >> an excellent person. >> and now he's hired michael flynn. >> he offered the job -- >> when you look at those people. >> he offered the job to michael
flynn and he hired reince priebus who did an excellent job leading the party to victory. >> i was going to say by far reince priebus is the best. >> what he is talking about general flynn's son, who bakari is talking about chief of staff, regularly pushed out conspiracy theories, he frequently retweets members of the alt-right. at one point he pushed out a conspiracy theory of marco rubio being a closet homosexual who abused cocaine. does it concern you at all, john? >> look, you don't judge someone by the sins of their father and i don't think you judge someone by the sins of their son. >> he is chief of staff. >> this guy had a stellar reputation as a general, he was mccrystal's right-hand man in afghanistan. people loved him. the minute he endorsed donald trump, he is like gary bussy
after the motorcycle. all of the respect people had for him went out the window. he is the same guy. >> i don't know what to say to that. >> gary busey has great tweets though. >> lahnee, his son was general flynn's chief of staff, or is. >> i think part of the issue is that the president is entitled i think to put people around him that he is comfortable with, and this is one of those positions that fits that bill. now, obviously you look at these things and you do have to say, well, probably wasn't the smartest thing to do, probably wasn't the best idea to do. >> yeah. >> i think from this point forward should he accept the job he has to conduct himself appropriately. >> again, his chief of staff who is his son earlier this year tweeted, so, african-americans can have bet but whites can't have their own dating site? hmm. then there was this one back in 2012. unfortunately, only reason why minorities voted for barack obama is the color of his skin
and not for his issues. bakari? >> i mean that's just blatant ignorance, but now we have ignorance at the highest level of government because, again, the national security adviser's chief of staff's son is making blatantly ignorant comments. look, i'm not surprised by any of this. hillary clinton lost the race. this is the result of losing races, elections have consequences, and we should not be surprised again that donald trump surrounds himself and hires people and offers jobs to people, to be correct for paris, to people who espouse his believes. he has every right to do so, it is just very, very dangerous. we haven't even gotten to the point of general flynn's ties to russia. we know he is very close with putin, so we're trotting down a very dangerous path that puts me on the same side of the fence with people like john mccain and lindsey graham. >> i want to switch gears if we can because i want to talk about donald trump meeting with mitt romney, you know, your former
boss and chief, mitt romney, lanhe. are you encoursed this might mean something about trump's decision making? >> obviously look, i think governor romney has great respect across a broad spectrum of conservatives. certainly if they're going to discuss national security issues i don't think there's a better person in the party on these issues now aside from governor romney. we don't know what this meeting is going to be about. we don't really know what is going to come up, at least i don't, but certainly i would think it is encouraging donald trump is reaching out to people across the party to try to unify the party and hopefully to govern well once he becomes president. >> what would secretary of state, mitt romney as secretary of state, what would it look like under trump? they seem polar opposites. do you think romney would do it? >> i don't necessarily think they're polar opposites in this sense. i think that mitt romney's foreign policy philosophy has been premised on american interests first, and i think that's similar to a lot of what you heard from donald trump on
the campaign trail. obviously there are some differences with respect to russia, nato and a few other issues, but i think if you look at the fundamentals of where governor romney thinks america needs to go, you can make the argument that it is similar to some of the general themes donald trump sounded out during his campaign. >> paris, listen, trump called romney an elitist and a stong stone cold loser. how are trump supporters going to feel like trump entertaining an establishment time like mitt romney for a key position? >> we don't know that's what the meeting will be about, but i will tell you this, i think all of donald trump's supporters like myself and the millions that voted for him will be proud that president-elect trump is showing leadership, is reaching across the aisle, is reaching across the political spectrum on the republican side to people who were former adversaries, if you will. this is waleedership is. he is no longer running a campaign. he is the president-elect of the united states of america.
he will do more of this. he understands how to get a deal done and understands how to work with people. that's how you become a successful business machined an president-elect of the united states. >> lanhee said they're not polar opposites, but there was this during the campaign. play this. >> here is what i know. donald trump is a phoney, a fraud. >> but here is a disloyal guy. see, he is an elitist. >> his promises are as worthless as a degree from trump university. >> the guy is a stone cold loser. >> now what, john? >> hey, i'm on angels fan and i say a lot of nasty things about the dodgers. when they make it to the playoffs, i still cheer for them because they're the california team that's there. there is politics. george bush was the guy that came up with voodoo economics and was put on the ticket. one of the criticisms of trump that's been out there is he can't let a feud go.
when he gets into a feud it lasts forever. when he's putting the cabinet together we saw romney's name, nikki haley in south carolina, even democrats could end up in cabinet. i have seen michelle reid's name pop up as secretary of education, and maybe jim webb. i think it is a good thing, not a bad thing. >> today we are talking about mitt romney, talking about nikki haley, we are talking about general flynn but not talking about his controversial hire of steve bannon. is it a smart move by donald trump to float republican leaders now you think, john? >> look, i mean you have a very short period of time to fill up all of these cabinet posts, and then once you do that you have to staff your white house and staff all of these departments in the executive branch. so you're going to see a lot of hires happen in a very short period of time. >> this is politics. i don't get it, i really don't get it y'all. i hate you, i hate you, i hate
you, drop dead. then you're like, i love you, man, you're my brother. >> don, you might be the next press secretary. be careful. >> i can tell you, no. i won't say. up next, why a lot of muslim-americans say they are now fearful. ♪ drinks taste chalky? then get worse? introducing protein shots from 5-hour energy. protein shots from 5-hour energy are smooth and tasty, and still deliver 21 grams of protein with 100 calories. they're great for workouts, no matter how you work out... whether you're going for reps... or laps... or distance. you gotta try it... period. protein shots from 5-hour energy. great taste. 100 calories. 21 grams of protein.
a lot of muslim-americans say they are fearful these days. could it be traced back to this moment from the 2016 campaign? donald j. trump is calling for a total and complete shut down of muslims entering the united states until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on. >> here is cnn's stephanie eland with more. >> reporter: since last week's tide shifting election, messages of hate, some invoking president-elect donald trump's campaign rhetoric have emerged across the nation. >> we won, now get your eyesis loving family out of this country or we will do it ourselves and make america great again. >> reporter: the day after trump won a muslim family in a seattle
suburb found this threatening letter at their home. >> we are american, we are muslim. >> reporter: the man and his wife lived in the u.s. more than 20 years. their children were all born here. >> america great because this country have allowed a lot of good, knowledgeable people to come here, to make america great. >> reporter: the son who found the letter shredded it but not before taking a picture. he was afraid it would scare his parents. the father says he is not afraid but remains vigilant and, above all, he wants to protect the most important person in his life, his wife. >> nothing is going to happen to her while i'm here, but i'm worried that she will be worried. she stays at home most of the day. i don't want her to be scared. >> reporter: do you think that donald trump should take some of the blame for the behavior that we've seen across the country? >> yeah, he should take some of the blame. he should actually become a
president of all americans, this is his responsibility. if you want to make this country continue to be strong, the number one country in the world, you cannot bring this weapon down. the strongest weapon you have, being diverse. >> reporter: trump addressed the spate of threats and assaults, telling leslie stall on "60 minutes." >> i would say don't do it, that's terrible because i want to bring this country together. >> they're harassing latinos, muslims. >> i am so saddened to hear that and i say stop it. if it helps, i will say this and i will say it right to the cameras, stop it. >> reporter: this man hopes the person that wrote the letter will see this and come talk with him. >> i will defend the value of america all the time and the value of being muslim all the time. ignorance usually creates fear and fear creates hatred and hatred creates violence and violence creates more hatred, and we cannot continue in this cycle until we break it with
knowledge. >> reporter: and find common ground in love of country. now, it is interesting to note this man tells me he has lived in the united states longer than in any other country and that he saw america from a different perspective when he lived in utah. at the time it was around 9/11, and he said right after that the people in his neighborhood rallied around his family, made sure they knew they were welcome, and he said their family received so many gifts, don, they didn't have a place to put them all. that said, i should point out he felt from the community where they live now some people have come to say this is not who we are, we are better than this and you are welcome as well, despite this one letter rereceived. >> stephanie thanks. two muslim-americans with two different viewpoints on this issue. ♪ changed..you wanna check yours?" "scores don't change that much. i haven't changed." "oh really?" "it's girls'night. ah huh." "they said business casual."
think it is donald trump's fault that a lot of protests are going on. i think a lot of people were scared into voting for clinton, especially in our muslim community. i think we need to accept the fact donald trump is our president and come to terms with his presidency and support him in whatever way we can. i think the best way for muslims to engage in the future years is for us to get involved with his administration and get into cabinet level positions or high level agency positions to make a difference. >> perhaps you didn't understand the question so i will read it again. how much responsibility should president-elect donald trump claim for these hateful incidents around the country, not the protests, that many are invoking, directly invoking his name, the ones just in the story about swastikas and people intimidating muslims. >> donald trump has condemned such hateful rhetoric and he has condemned hate crimes. i think obviously he could do
more in coming out strongly against those of his supporters that are misusing his name to commit violent atrocities, but, again, like i said, muslims need to step up their efforts in terms of outreach to republicans and to the general american public. i think muslim-americans don't, we don't need to play the victim games. we need to get involved in his administration and make a difference. >> dino abala, a member of the transition team suggested that they could reinstate a national registry for immigrants from countries where terrorist groups were active. is it constitutional? >> i would say it probably is constitutional. it is only dealing with immigrants, not u.s. citizens. it is wrong, it is sending a message, frankly, don, any muslim coming in is potentially dangerous. it is alarming. donald trump with his campaign, let's be blunt -- and i like saba a great deal, but he said islams hates us, thousands of muslims cheered on 9/11, he lied
about that. he said we hide terrorists in our midst. he wanted surveillance on these people. he needs to come out and say to the people committing acts of hate in his name that it is wrong, more than stop it like he is talking to a child. there were mosques in iowa and new jersey faced with the word trump, like the name trump is becoming a modern swastika to people in the far right of his base. come out and be the president of all of the people. if you want to do it, get rid of steve bannon and come out and say it clearly. >> this is about fighting terror, not an attack on religion. does it make a difference to you, saba? >> no, obviously when you talk about religious discrimination that goes into the realm of unconstitutional and illegal ideas. i would hate to see anybody's civil liberties trampled in the name of national security. at the same time obviously, like i said, muslim-americans need to
step up their efforts in terms of their outreach to trump. we have yet to have a meeting of muslim leaders with the trump administration. we've had some people meet with him individually, but i think it would be nice to see the muslim-american leadership step up and accept the president-elect and meet with him directly and raise their concerns and get him to speak for us. >> does it make a difference that he said that this is about geography and fighting terror, not about religion to you? >> well, he was talking specifically about the syrian refugees in that realm. he mentioned that, you know, certain people coming in from certain state sponsors of terrorism should be monitored, and i think we have many federal laws that ban visas from certain countries and for certain people, and we obviously don't want any further terrorism in this country. we do want to strengthen and vet every single person who is coming into the country with secure borders, with secure -- national security policies. >> okay. i want dean to get in. >> at the same time we don't need to blame religion for it. >> the idea this is policy or
not i'm not sure. the idea of the muslim ban wasn't policy. the muslim ban of donald trump which he walked bass was clearly telling our fellow americans every muslim is potentially dangerous, i are to ban them all. that's scary. that's why we saw a spike in hate crimes. the fbi came out with a report in 201567% increase in hate crimes against muslims. if you can get donald trump to meet with muslim-american leaders, we would be happy to meet with him. he may not like the meeting. but we'll tell him get rid of steve bannon, be inclusive. acknowledge you jinned up -- >> before you respond, saba, trump transition team denied trump said anything about a muslim registry, however he offered a series of mud willed responses to nbc late last year saying he would implement it. what could trump do to reassure muslim-americans?
>> he said a lot of things during the campaign. not all campaign rhetoric becomes law. i think we need to step up our lobbying efforts here in washington d.c. if we want to reach out to trump. everybody in his administration is very accessible. i would just urge the muslim-american community instead of taking insult and instead of isolating ourselves, we need to step up and do our part in our outreach and be respectful when we meet with the president-elect and see him as an ally and how we can work together strategically for the next four to eight years. we can't afford to ignore the new president. we have to accept him and we must be willing, proactively in terms of our outreach. >> i don't know where you're getting this that we're isolating ourselves from it. if donald trump wants to reach out to leaders in our community, acknowledge the mistakes he has made, apologize for demonizing our community, i think he might find some common ground. let's be blunt about steve bannon, we talked about white supremacy and anti-semitism on
his website. he has given steve bannon, during his time at brightbart, gave the most bigoted the chance to write -- including about you, saba. he let pamela geller, a dutch lawmaker, not even an american who hates -- >> let her respond. >> he is giving all of the people that helped him get elected. >> does it make it okay though? >> no, it doesn't. we need to step up our outreach. we have to engage with his administration. >> i have to go. we are out of time. i appreciate it. that's it. see you back tomorrow. see you back tomorrow. good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com . .
the president-elect's pick for national security adviser, a retired army man with a combative reputation. a surprise contender for top cabinet pick. mitt romney. donald trump takes credit for keeping a ford plant from moving to mexico. good morning. welcome to "early start" this friday morning. i'm christine romans. >> i'm george howell. it is friday, november 18th. president-elect trumpas